Amazon: Made in Deutschland!
Amazon: Made in Deutschland!
Amazon is a German company! Really? No, of course not, but looking at how hard it is to get their things to speak English, one might as well think so.
So, I live in Austria. In case you don't know, in our tiny country in the alps we speak German. However I prefer to keep my various electronic devices in English. There are a number of reasons: It makes bug reporting easier since I don't have to translate the localized messages back. It sometimes unlocks functionality which hasn't been translated yet. Also, I work on international projects and people might need to use my devices to get some work done - which is difficult if they don't understand what the device is saying. And, in general, I just prefer English to German. It's a nicer language in my opinion.
Usually when I set up things, they let me choose which language I prefer - or they only come in one language, which is fine too.
Not so much Amazon. To be able to actually buy stuff I have to have my account set up with amazon.de, not amazon.com or amazon.co.uk. Now there is the possibility to switch the account language to anything you like but it still doesn't change everything to English. It almost feels like they developed all their stuff in German and just have it partially translated to English.
Amazon Music on Android is one of the best examples - and also one of the worst Android apps, constantly crashes, pegs the CPU at 100% while draining the battery. Seriously, wtf? You are a big ass company, you can't even get an MP3 player right??
Anyway, for a long time it just wouldn't let my buy songs. I could play my music, download things, manage playlists, everything. Except when I wanted to buy something it sent me to the US store where the item wasn't available for me to buy. Then it told me to switch my device to German because I live in a German speaking country. NO! DO. NOT. WANT. My, device, my settings, stop patronizing me! I contacted support - they were of course of no help, just told me "Amazon Music is only available in select countrys, here's a list, blah blah blah, we're trying to make it available in more countries soon". Told them it is available here, I can buy songs from their website, I just want my device in English.... And they were out of ideas. I tried to tweak the locale on my device to en_AT or en_DE which prevented the app from starting at all: "Please switch to a supported locale!" Argh!
At least that is fixed now. I mean, the app is in German even though the rest of my phone is (US) English, but at least everything works.
My next irk is about Alexa. I just received my Echo dot. A while back I got interested in the Echo thanks to a very well placed appearance in "Mr. Robot" and pre-registered for it - without any commitment to buy. Then I must have added it to my shopping cart. Then I must have accidentally ordered it together with something else. So, now, here it is. I guess it's one of those mistakes one is not entirely unhappy about...
Switching it on, I was greeted with a friendly: "Hallo!". That was expected, I bought it from amazon.de afterall. But I wasn't too worried about it since there are so many stories of people buying their Dot in the US or UK and then using it in German. Should work the other way round as well, right?
First of all it's difficult to configure. I had to use the Android app to set up the Dot, but I couldn't change the language from there. To change that I had to go to http://alexa.amazon.com/ which gives about the same options as the app. This is mentioned nowhere. There is no link from Amazon to the Alexa settings page.
Trying to add any Alexa skills is verboten through the website. And these are the things which actually make Alexa useful. But on the website it just tells me that I have configured the wrong language because it needs to match the country I live in. Aaaah! NO! I didn't pick the wrong language, you are just idiots!! The workaround is to just use the phone app. For some reason it works there. But again only on Android, my iPad fails in the same way as the website.
What doesn't work is getting the News brief set up correctly. It only shows me the Tagesschau which I can't enable. But I don't event want to, I want BBC! I can enable the BBC skill but can't add it to my news brief.
So I guess I just have to wait until they have finished translating and finally made all their stuff available in English as well....